Carnaval is the greatest holiday in Brazil and everything about it is superlative. So let’s take advantage of that to review some expressions using the superlative in Portuguese as we take a small tour around Brazil to see how different regions celebrate Carnival in different ways.
Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro é o maior e mais famoso de todos no Brazil e no mundo (is the greatest and most famous in Brazil and in the world). More than two million people participate in some form of organized revelry on each of Carnaval’s four-day festival. The event that receives o maior numero de turistas (the greatest number of tourists) é o desfile das escolas de samba (is the samba-school parade) in a monumental open-air venue called Sambódromo, or Sambadrome built exclusively for this event. The samba-schools competem para o melhor samba-enredo, fantasia e desfile (compete for the best samba theme, costume and parade), among other things.
Carnaval em Olinda, in the northeast of the country, embraces several different types of celebrations, but the main attraction is the parade through the historic streets of Cidade Alta, High City along with giant puppets. Among these o boneco mais famoso (the most famous puppet) is O Homem da Meia Noite, the Midnight Man, which has been part of the festival since 1932. O tipo de musica mais tocado é frevo (the kind of music played the most is frevo music).
Carnaval in Bahia é o que dura mais de todos (is the one that lasts the longest). While in most towns and cities in Brazil Carnival starts on a Saturday, 40 days before Lent, and ends on a Tuesday, Terça-feira gorda or Fat Tuesday, in Salvador, the capital of Bahia, it starts on Thursday, lending it an extra two days. O que mais distingue o carnaval bahiano (what distinguishes the Bahian carnival the most) is the Trio Elétrico, literally the Electrical Trio. This is a parade that began in 1950 with two musicians, Adolfo Dodo Nascimento and Osmar Alvares Macedo, who equipped a truck with powerful sound system that played their tunes attracting crowds dancing behind it. The event is now organized by the municipality and attracts not only throngs of revelers following this 6-hour parade, but also many popular singers, who ride on top of the truck animating the dancers.
Carnaval in Sao Paulo also includes a samba-school competition mas é o que tem menos programação de rua (but it is the one with the least number of street events). Many of the people who remain in the industrial heart of Brazil, attend costume balls in private clubs.